Monday, August 24, 2009

First Day of Preschool

James has wanted to go to school for the longest time. Every time he reads me a word I didn’t know he knew or says something bright I ask him, “Where’d you learn that?” and he always answers, “At school.” He asks about school all the time and frequently our days are full of him asking repeatedly, “What are we going to do next? What are we going to do after that? What are we going to do then? What are we going to do after nap? What are we going to do before dinner?” Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Once I started to tell him he was going to get a fun treat called a tranquilizer, but I didn’t think that would sound good if it came out in public.

Ben usually watches James while I teach 1 or 2 classes per semester, but that just wasn’t a possibility this time around. We had to decide what to do with the James. It was pay to have a friend watch him or pay to send him to a bit of preschool. After much agonizing (only on my part) we finally decided to do the preschool thing. (Something that really helped me make the decision is that one of our regular babysitters just got hired as the classroom assistant and knows the owner and teacher.) Today was the first day and I was up half the night worrying about this morning. I can’t really explain my drama; I just knew that things were going to be different now. It’s a small preschool with a certified teacher and includes the kindermusik program as part of the fee.

Today was ‘transition day’ when the parents come and spend the morning with the kids at the school. In other words, transition day = "hold your breath while you hope your child doesn’t do or say something mortifying while you’re actually there to witness it" day. James was in love from the first moment. He just ran in and started playing with the toys and trying to talk at the other kids who were still surgically attached to their parents. I think he went from one room to the other looking at every single thing and touching them and asking about what they were for. I am hoping (really hoping) that he learns the culture and norms of being in a preschool soon. Well, there’s only so much culture (ha!) you can have in a room full of 3 and 4 year olds.

Miss Yvette started putting down circles on the ground for the 8 kids to sit on.

James: I want a green one. I want a green one. I NEED a green one!

Other assorted kids: I want a red (blue/purple/yellow/white) one!!!!

(At this point I once again remembered why I could NEVER have a career with other peoples’ young children. I found myself thinking, “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit! If you ask me for a specific color, you can forget about it!” HA!)

Miss Yvette starts reading a story about the first day of preschool. This becomes a heated competition to see which of the BOYS could yell out the end of the sentence first. (Meanwhile the girls were sitting quietly in their cute pink outfits being all polite and quiet.) Seriously, what is with boys anyway? Miss Yvette handles all of this quite tactfully.

The kids go outside for playtime with Miss Audrey while the parents have Q&A with Miss Yvette.

Parent 1: So how was your summer, Yvette?
Parent 2: Anybody see any good sales this weekend?
Parent 3: Oh, so and so’s baby is soo cute.
Parent 4: I can’t believe it rained this morning.
Me: So who will call me if there’s an emergency or something like that?

Everybody gets all quiet and looks at me and one mom says, “Oh, first time, huh? He’ll be fine, don’t worry, blah blah blah”. All the rest of the moms continue to console me until I feel like I want to console their butts right out of the room.

Snack time: The kids get to choose what they want off of the serving plates. You hear a chorus of: I don’t like oranges! I don’t like bananas. I only like oranges. I want a WHOLE banana. My mom says I can’t have cookies. This orange has seeds. My banana has a brown spot. William has more milk than me. I only drink chocolate milk. I want juice. Jonathan took my cookie. I dropped my napkin. AAAAAHHH! So glad transition day is only once a year.

After doing some time at different stations, it’s time to have the going home story and song. Miss Yvette (M.Y.) gets one page into the book:

Kid 1: My dog made poops in the house this morning.

M.Y. acknowledges and goes on with story.

Kid 2: Walmart doesn’t have any more purple notebooks.

M.Y. acknowledges and goes on with story.

Kid 3: I don’t like peanut butter.

M.Y. acknowledges and goes on with story.

JAMES: My daddy says…. My daddy says….

M.Y.: What does your daddy say, James?

(PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE DON’T LET HIM SAY, “My daddy says my mommy has hairy legs.” Or “My daddy says I need to not touch my face after I pee.” Or “My daddy says President Obama pooped his pants.” (Which James has said before, but Ben did NOT!) )

JAMES: My daddy says I can be Bob the Builder for Halloween.

(Ok, HALLELUJAH it wasn’t “My daddy says my mom should wear more clothes around the house!”

M.Y. acknowledges and goes on with story.

Ugh. Soon enough it is time to collect our belongings and head home. James is weeping because we have to leave and I’ve had more than enough preschool for this year. James goes back solo on Wednesday and I’m pretty positive I’ll be glad to see him off.


Janine said...

I love your narrative, and I am glad you are back blogging. Sounds like you will both survive preschool.

Sandy said...


Nate, Marie & Lilly said...

Wow! 8 kids in a class. When I was teaching we had 17 3-5 yr olds and 2 teachers. 8 kids would have been a dream. I'm so glad that James had so much fun his first day of preschool. Makes me miss working. Kinda

Virginia said...

I loved your narative!! You have such a talent for writing. Sounds as if James will be just fine, and you too. Mom

Virginia said...

PaPa says be sure and tell James that Bob the Builder is a frog.

Kara said...

Write a book! Or short stories for a magazine. It would be a hit. :) What a happy, confident fellow. Good job Mom.

Chelsea B. said...

Funny stuff!

That's good that he's going to preschool, he's a smart kid.

When I was working at the daycare, NOTHING got the kids to care less than a boring life story of mine.

"Teacher! I want another piece of candy..."

"Aww. I want this new DVD coming out on -whatever day-. I went and saw it in the theater with my friend Kim, and then we went out to eat. It was a good time... But sadly the DVD doesn't come out for another 36 days, so I have to wait. Now please, go back and finish playing your game."

And by the time I got to that last part, they forgot what they were asking me for. Is that mean? Haha.

Pawloski said...

Oh the things we have to look forward to. :) He is so cute! I am happy he likes pre-school.

Chris said...

My oh my, Carolyn ~ your future is FULL of such precious experiences, waiting patiently for each year to pass, and for you to get used to the idea that while they are young, they innocently embarrass their parents without mercy, but when they are in their teens, their parents have the right and obligation to embarrass them. Enjoy!